Can I Wear My Menstrual Cup Swimming?
The first time I tried to use a tampon was to go swimming. I remember my Mom trying to coach me through my bedroom door as I desperately attempted to insert a dry, stiff tampon for the first time. I never got it in and I watched my friends swim without me.
If only I had a reusable menstrual cup instead! Why? Menstrual cups are great for swimming because they are soft and squishy, don’t absorb water like a tampon, there is no dangling string waiting to sneak out of your swimsuit and they can be worn comfortably for long periods of time. Many menstrual cups can be worn up to 12 hours!
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Menstrual cup VS tampon for swimming
A reusable menstrual cup makes a seal with your vaginal walls to prevent menstrual blood from exiting your vagina. It collects fluid instead of absorbing it. This is perfect for swimming because it also means that it won’t absorb pool or ocean water.
The menstrual cup, when inserted properly, creates a seal that will only allow the water to reach the base of the cup. Your days of removing a soggy water/blood tampon are over! A reusable menstrual cup is non-drying and perfect for swimming.
Is swimming with a menstrual cup safe?
In my opinion, swimming with a menstrual cup is better than a tampon. One menstrual cup can hold the capacity of several tampons and many can be worn 10-12 hours without worry. (1) You can easily insert your cup and spend the day at the pool or beach without needing to empty your menstrual cup.
Have a heavy flow? There are reusable menstrual cups for high flow too!
What about menstrual cup swimming at the beach?
Using a reusable menstrual cup for swimming at the beach and ocean is just as safe as any other activity. The menstrual cup can last for hours and is worn inside your vagina like a tampon. Because of this, blood collects in the cup itself and won’t leak out into the water or on your bathing suit.
The reusable menstrual cup stays in and collects blood until you are ready to take it out and empty the contents.
Inserting your cup before you hit the sand and water is ideal. Once you have sand on your hands it will be important to wash them to ensure you don’t get anything abrasive on your cup or into your vagina. Just like with a tampon, you should plan on taking breaks as needed to empty your cup. On a light day, I can go all day without worrying about emptying but on a heavy day I’ll use a higher capacity cup and get maybe 4 hours before I need to empty and reinsert.
Practice to ensure swimming with a menstrual cup goes smoothly
Using a reusable menstrual cup takes practice. There is a learning curve with each new cup I try and it does take some practice at first. Trying your cup out at home and/or in non-swimming situations will help prepare you for swimming with a menstrual cup and increase your confidence!
If you are athletic and swim competitively or are more active than on land, you may want a more firm cup. A reusable menstrual cup like the lunette is often ideal for those with a stronger pelvic floor and for use during physical activity. Other brands include the MeLuna Sport model which is marketed towards athletic menstruators.
Disclosure: This information is not meant to provide individual recommendations or replace the advice of your physicial or other medical practitioner.